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On Windows XP I use 18 programs. In startup it makes 2-3 minutes to load all of them. Anti virus, translator, unlocker, file indexer, download manager, instant messenger etc..

I need all of them and they are on Windows system tray waiting for me to use. So I can't remove one of them, because I use them frequently. 5-6 times daily.

But I don't need them in the startup. So how can I delay the loading of these programs.

For example: - Anti virus, file indexer: in the startup - Translator, download manager, unlocker: 5 minutes after startup etc.

What solutions do you recommend?

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migrated from Jan 30 '11 at 23:48

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Startup Delayer does the task:

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thank you very much. this progrm is very good. – trante Jan 30 '11 at 19:34

Instead of the ping command that Jeffy suggested before in Windows XP/Vista/2008 I use the timeout command in a batch file.

Syntax: timeout /t seconds

@echo off

rem for 5mins delay..

timeout /t 300

rem starting delayed start programs

start cmd /C "C:\Some\Path\To\A\Program.exe"

start cmd /C "C:\Some\Path\To\A\Shortcut.lnk"

start notepad

P.S. If you don't want to see the countdown you can discard the output like so: timeout /t 300 > nul

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It would be nice if it weren't because timeoutisn't available on Windows XP... – Pere Aug 4 '14 at 14:03
  1. Create a batch file called "5minsdelayStart":
 @echo off
 rem sleeping for 300000 milliseconds (5 minutes)
 ping -n 1 -w 300000 -4 >NUL

 rem starting delayed start programs
 start cmd /C "C:\Some\Path\To\A\Program.exe"
 start cmd /C "C:\Some\Path\To\A\Shortcut.lnk"
  1. Replace the commands at the bottom with the stuff you want to start up after 5 minutes delay.

  2. Add this batch file to your startup folder.

Note: You might want to create a shortcut to the batch file instead, then set the launch options to start the batch file minimised. You'll have a command prompt in the background either way, but at least if it's minimised it won't be too much intrusion!

Also, if for some reason on your network actually routes to something valid then you should change that IP address to something else (that doesn't have a route).

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I can't find anywhere in the docs what the 3rd parameter (-4) means, but it definitely does something as the command runs properly and it doesn't throws an error. Could you please give us a hint? – Pere Sep 15 '14 at 7:54

Actually, both answers have merits. Setting a fixed time delay may not be in your best interests as needs change with time. Any set delay to initiate the rest of the load all at once might be even more inconvenient than starting them at a time you are doing the usual "Wait for Windows".

I would consider adding an argument to "continue to wait? Y/N " to the batch if you have a lot of items in it. Or you could let it be an automatic timed extension based on activity. (i.e. wait for a time of no keyboard activity to proceed). Either way, unless you do this on the whole lot (each as a separate timed action) you may find that running it all 5 minutes after you boot-up to be just as bad or even worse than running it all before you get started.

I think if these are all absolutely necessary it might be best to put them in a sequence with 1 at a time running each then checking to see if still no activity then running the next. Of course, only you know which are needed on startup. Some may not be needed at all for certain quick on/off episodes. If placed in the correct order, those would never be reached before you power down.

Another possibility is to tie the loading to the need for what is loaded. If you are not going on the Internet or using email or other “high risk” activity, you might consider not loading your AV software. Adding the command to "Run this first if not already running" to those activities could give you a significant increase in speed for local gaming or anything else that did not need to be checked and rechecked for every move. Just tie the startup to the program that needs it.

Another option to consider would be setting as many as can be done to "run as a service" as this usually seems to take less time to become active than running a normal "start the program" sequence.

FYI there is a very useful utility I have used and given to many people over the years called "StartMan" Easily found with Google and Free and I am sure there are others. It works with every version of Windows I have ever tried from Win98 to Win7. It will let you have a lot more control over your Startup programs without having to make any permanent changes to your Startup configuration and easily undo those that are not productive.

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First remove them from run at startup.
Then make a batch program to run all of them.
So after your computer finish boot up, the first thing you do is run your batch program to load it all.

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thank you but, in that situation i should run the batch file manually. which i don't prefer. – trante Jan 30 '11 at 19:34

Windows Script can be used instead of command script. It has a Sleep() method which should be supported in Windows XP. It runs without any visible window and allows to configure visibility of executed program window- hidden, normal or minimized.

Before using Windows Script system should be checked if it is configured to execute *.vbs files.

Below is sample script which must be placed in file with "VBS" extension, for example "DelayedStart.vbs" and placed to Start Menu StartUp folder:

Set Shell = WScript.CreateObject("Wscript.Shell")

Shell.Run """C:\Program Files\Debug\MemInfo\meminfo.exe""", 2, False
Shell.Run """C:\Windows\System32\taskmgr.exe""", 2, False

rem True=wait until exits
rem Window: 0=hidden, 1=normal, 2=minimized
rem Shell.Run """notepad.exe"" ""argument with space""", 1, False
rem Shell.Run "notepad.exe """ & WScript.Arguments.Item(0) & """", 1, True
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